Bicycle Rim Outdoor Lighting

9 Materials
3 Hours

We spend a lot of time up north at my mom's in the summer. It's the perfect escape from the city for us. She has an outdoor patio with a roof over top of it and we spend a lot of time there but it was lacking some lighting at night. I have one small solar lamp but I found most don't have cords long enough to be able to use in settings like this as the panel needs sunlight to charge. I found a way to create the lighting I wanted without expensive solar lights. This project cost me $12 to create using battery operated lights from the Dollar store.

Getting Started...

For this project I am using one bicycle tire rim from an old ten speed bike. It was previously painted in a rust color as I had used it for a wreath. I purchased 4 of these battery operated lights at my Dollarama for $3.00 each.

Placement of Lights

To determine the placement of the lights I put them on the ground and placed the rim over top to determine where my lights would hang from. Make sure your lights hang from two spikes that are on the same level.

Attaching Lights

I had some fine black link chain from another light project and decided to use this for my lights. You can use wire or rope also.


After determining the length, I cut 7 links off using wire cutters. You will need 8 pieces the same length .

Next using my wire cutters I snipped a link at each end of my chains. These will be used to attach the lights to the rim.

Take one end of chain and attach to light and using a pair of plyers squeeze closed. Attach chain to the bicycle rim the same way. Repeat step until all 4 lights are attached.

Here is what it should look like when all lights are attached.

Attaching Chain

I purchased this chain loop at my local Habitat store a few years ago. So I will be using this to hang my rim from.

Cut Chains

As every ceiling height is different you will have to measure for the length of chain. My mom lives 3 hours away from me so I was unable to do this so I took a wild guess. Using wire cutters cut your chain. You will need 4 pieces.

I cut one link of the chain. This will be used to attach to the spoke of the rim. Squeeze closed with pliers.

Next I took some wire in black, cut pieces around 2 inches.

I wrapped this around the chain and over to the rim to prevent chain from sliding. Repeat step on all remaining pieces of chain.

Adding some Detail

I had this grape vine swag and decided to use it to wrap around the rim . You could also use rope or leave as is. I pulled the swag apart and using my wire attached around the outside of the rim.

So here is my rim complete. My light is now finished.

Hanging the light

So after a 3 and a half hour drive I am now home (my mom's house). Using a hook to hang lamps I screwed into ceiling and placed my chains.

Lights on!!

I love how this turned out. It creates the perfect amount of lighting for sitting outside on these beautiful summer nights in Northern Ontario Canada! The switches are easy to turn on and off and within reach.

Finished Result

This was a super easy project . There are so many different things you could do to create a different look. I hope my mom has many years to enjoy this!

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Vct29519406
    on Aug 4, 2020

    How can you reach switches?

    • Melanie
      on Aug 4, 2020

      The lights hang low enough that you can just reach up and turn them in and off when you want to use them. Or you can go the more expensive route and purchase the lights at Michaels and they have a remote and timer.

  • Tana Foster
    on Aug 4, 2020

    I love this project! I was born and raised in Northern Ontario. I do miss the grandour of the North! But please tell me how you reach the on/off switches.

    • Melanie
      on Aug 4, 2020

      Hi Tana, the light hangs low enough over the table that it's easy just to reach up and turn on without having to stand on anything. There are more expensive battery operated lights that can be purchased at Michaels that are on timers and come with a remote. I too was born and raised in northern Ontario and love spending time there whenever I can.

Join the conversation

4 of 23 comments
  • Anne
    on Aug 4, 2020

    Well, I must say Melanie you are one smart cookie.

    I have passed this onto our daughter and daughter in law. ( Ontario nights can get a wee bit dark)


    • Cottager
      on Aug 9, 2020

      I’m missing my cottage in Big hull lake outside of Northbrook in Ontario. But these lights would be perfect. It does get dark

  • Deborah Gibson Knispel
    on Aug 4, 2020

    Great "upcycling"! Really love it. Is turning each light off manually easy?

    • Melanie
      on Aug 4, 2020

      Thanks Deborah, yes it's extremely easy to turn off and on.

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